[AKidsRight.Org] Give-Get a Ride for the DC Rally/ Syracuse Rally Report

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.org)
Date: Fri Aug 10 2007 - 09:05:33 EDT

Good People & People of Faith,

1. DCRally2007 - (Aug 18th) Give/Get a Ride? Hotel?
2. Syracuse Rally - results.
3. FPRA - Family Preservation & Reconciliation Act?

1. DCRally2007 - (Aug 18th) Give/Get a Ride? Hotel?
I know it's the last minute, but some may still be deciding whether a
trip to Washington for what may be the largest Parent's Rights
gathering ever -- is worth the cost/effort?  For details on the rally
see: http://www.dcrally2007.com/ 

Some of us (me! me!) are still looking to get or give a ride.  We are
trying to do this quickly. If you are interested please fill out the
little form below and send it to: webmaster@AKidsRight.Org (Deadline
is Saturday night).  We will collect and send them all out Sunday
morning before noon.  Hopefully that will give folks time to make
contact.  You can include as much/little personal info as you wish.
Some of you may be able to drive, but could also pool with others, in
that case just say 'both' below: If you can meet people at a nearby
Interstate exit (park & ride), that makes it easier.  If you can give
a ride, note the route you are taking to DC.  We assume everyone will
equally share gas & toll expenses on the trip.

-------------------------------------------- send us this
TYPE (give a ride/ get a ride/ both):
ADDRESS (at least city, state):
PLANNED ROUTE/TIMES (give a ride):

A hotel where many participants plan on staying and having a
get-together on Friday evening:

Best Western Pentagon Hotel - Reagan Airport (AAA rate of $80/night)
2480 S Glebe Road,  Arlington,  VA,  22206-2576
Phone: 703-979-4400 

If you have never been to Washington, their subway system, the "Metro"
is great.  Very clean, very safe, and great routes.  For a map see:
http://www.wmata.com/metrorail/systemmap.cfm -- you shouldn't need a
car once you are there.

2. Syracuse Rally - results.
We had TWO people show up!  I was joined by Ms. Katherine Neville from
Liverpool NY and we both stood outside the US Federal Building. I was
still blocked from entering the building, but Katherine brought her
petition for reform to the offices of Sen. Clinton and spoke with her
Regional Representative (see her first hand report below and also her
message to the Senator).

I had spoken to Katherine on the phone earlier. She told me that a few
years ago she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a
baseball.  I expressed my concern, but she told me not too worry,
after treatment it was currently the size of a lemon!  She is a real
'fireball' and you'd never guess her condition (or age) from looking
at her.

A mother and grandmother who has watched two of her sons struggle
through the system -- she understands Civil Rights.  As a child she
can remember picking cotton in Mississippi with the blacks. Her father
was not prejudice, but they couldn't play with the black kids in
public.  To do so might incite the Klan to visit the blacks and burn
down their home (but we know the 'rest of the story': Eventually
blacks were willing to take the risk in support of their 'great

Here is Katherine's message (katherine@AKidsRight.Org):

   I went into the Hanley Federal Building at approx. 12:30 P.M. to
   deliver letters to Senators Clinton and Schumer and Congressman
   Walsh's offices from John Murtari and myself. The object was not
   only to hand deliver the letters, but to also try and get a few
   minutes of time from an assistant/ representative from each office
   to sit down with me and discuss our goal of Congressional Civil
   Rights Action. I was very nervous having never done anything like
   this before, despite being a very outgoing, outspoken woman. I had
   not anticipated being the group's spokesperson. John had given me
   contact names of people to ask for in Rep. Walsh's and Senator
   Clinton's offices. Having names alleviated some of my anxiety.

   I went first to Senator Schumer's office which is located on the
   8th floor, there were three people engaged in conversation within
   the common area. Two of the three people present quickly went to
   offices as I gave my name, stated that I was affiliated with the
   group AKidsRight and gave a brief synopsis as to why I was there. I
   was very nervous on this initial request. I was hot from being
   outside in the sun on the concrete, my mouth was dry and I had not
   anticipated speaking at length for our cause. I remember feeling as
   though I might pass out. The young man I spoke with was polite and
   aware of our goals but seemed to be rushing me. I neglected to get
   his name. I left the letters which he assured me would be forwarded
   to Senator Schumer. The entire conversation, lasted 2-3 minutes. We
   never sat down, no notes were taken.

   After leaving Senator Schumer's office, I took a deep breath and
   headed for Congressman Walsh's office which is on the 13th
   floor. Our goals are worthy and I was determined to have them
   heard. Here there were numerous people milling about. I introduced
   myself, my affiliation with the group, stated that Mr. Murtari was
   outside, and gave my reason for being there ( deliver letters and
   speak with a representative about our goals).  The contact person I
   requested to speak with was unavailable/ not in the office, so I
   asked if there was someone else I could speak to. Eric Schenck
   (Staff Assistant), who had directly approached me said he was
   willing to listen to what I had to say. I then asked if there was
   somewhere we could sit down since I would need few minutes. He
   obliged, even taking notes on our conversation about our goal for
   Congressional Action for a Parents Rights Act and the reasons why
   it is necessary. Indeed, as a young man who came from a family of
   divorce he seemed to recognize the civil rights issue. I explained
   to him that achieving our goal would someday protect his rights as
   a parent. He assured me that Congressman Walsh would receive the
   letters and a report on my visit.

   Then on to Senator Clinton's office on the 14th floor, to deliver
   letters and attempt to get a few moments with Cathy Calhoun to
   convince her that our goal is an important valid issue and why a
   meeting with Senator Clinton would benefit all. The outer office
   was small and very hot. Approximately 7 people were seated at or
   around the one desk. I introduced myself, explained my purpose,
   mentioned that Mr. Murtari was with me outside and asked to speak
   with Cathy Calhoun. I was told she was no longer working in the
   Syracuse office. I asked to speak with her replacement Jay Biba. He
   emerged from his office saying he had a meeting but would certainly
   take the letters. I was politely persistent asking him what time
   was his meeting. It was for 1pm which left him with about 13
   minutes. I assured him I would take no more than 10 minutes of his
   time. He was familiar with the organization and our goal. I asked
   why we had been unable thus far to arrange a meeting between
   Senator Clinton and small group of parents. I explained the purpose
   of the proposed meeting as well as the content. He did try to brush
   it off as a State issue, however, I reiterated that since we regard
   it as a civil liberty, it was indeed a Federal issue and should be
   protected by our Constitution as are other civil liberties. I
   acknowledged that Senator Clinton is very busy, that she has a full
   agenda but we have been patiently waiting and we do not expect
   change to happen overnight. We are only requesting a meeting and we
   are not demanding it be tomorrow, next week or even next
   month. Just give us a date, we are willing to wait. He said Senator
   Clinton would get a report of our discussion and the letters. His
   only real response, which seems to make sense was, �Keep writing
   letters, the more letters the Senator gets, the more likely you'll
   get a meeting�.  I thanked him taking no more than the time

   The rally was for me a positive experience. People saw our signs,
   became aware of our organization and a few became aware of our
   goal. If they did not ask what our purpose was, some simply never
   knew. That's why news and/media coverage is so important. I
   delivered our letters and got a few minutes ( 10 min. ea. @
   Clinton's & Walsh' offices ) to make a plea for our goal, so I feel
   that something was accomplished.  Since Mr. Murtari and myself were
   the only active participants, our goal did not enlist the news or
   media coverage to reach the masses. I wish we had been able to get
   more local people to participate in the rally. 

   There is power in numbers, and while this is not really about
   power; we are trying to achieve Federal Legislation. Elected
   officials tend to be dictated to by the numbers. Though I am a
   rebel by nature, I have never been involved in reform in such a
   personal way. Our goal of Federal Legislation for a Family Rights
   Act is such an important one I felt the need to act, not just for
   myself, but for my children, my grandchildren, and all the children
   yet to be. 
   -- Katherine Golden, July 31, 2007

  July 29, 2007
  The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
  United States Senate

  Dear Senator Clinton:

  I am writing this letter to request your help in getting
  Congressional action seeking National Family Law Reform. I've heard
  that you are a staunch defender of children and family rights, which
  is exactly why I'm asking for your assistance. I am a parent, a
  mother specifically. There are no words grand enough to describe the
  love I feel for my four children. I believe in equal shared
  parenting, that children benefit most when they have equal time with
  and access to the love of both parents. I believe parents have a
  basic human right, as well as a need, to participate in the lives of
  their children. We need Federal Rights Legislation to ensure
  recognition that it is the God given right of parents and children
  to be together, as well as for protection from well intentioned
  government interference. As my children and I have been effected as
  a result of current Family Court policy, I would welcome the
  opportunity to testify at a Congressional hearing about my Family
  Court experiences.  Please help by recognizing a need for, and then
  sponsoring legislation to ensure this right.

  This Is A Civil Rights Issue. It needs to be addressed. The time is
  not only now, but is long overdue. It is no less important than the
  civil rights issues of slavery, segregation or the woman's right to
  vote. Indeed, shouldn't the principles of our Constitution, enacted
  to protect our most fundamental liberties be applied equally to
  protect that bond between parents and children? Ideally, this would
  mean that the same basic laws which govern criminal courts would
  apply to the Family Court: the presumption of equal parenting,
  tangible proof, and protection of a jury. The lives of my children
  and I have been forever changed having experienced the inequalities,
  the deprivation of civil liberties, and the alienation of family,
  due to the current Family Court system.  Please help by endorsing a
  call for a Congressional Hearing and eventually the creation of a
  Family Rights Act. In closing I would like to reiterate that we
  don't need additional laws, what is needed is protection, in the
  form of Federal Civil Rights Legislation. Please Help !  Thank you
  for your time and consideration.

  Katherine E. Neville

3. FPRA - Family Preservation & Reconciliation Act?
Do we know what we want and how to express it in words?


What do you think?  How would it work applied to your situation?

What do you think of our proposal for a Family Rights Act,
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/approach.htm ?

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/

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